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Burger's husband testifies in Pistorius trial

Charl Johnson said he and his wife were under the impression people were being attacked.

Advocate Barry Roux, Oscar Pistorius’s legal representative, on the second day of the murder trial at the High Court in Pretoria. Picture: Pool.

PRETORIA - The state's third witness on Tuesday took the stand in the Oscar Pistorius murder trial in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria.

The Olympic and Paralympic athlete is accused of murdering his 29-year-old girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp at his Pretoria East home on Valentine's Day last year.

Oscar Pistorius in conversation with his legal team Barry Roux (left) and Kenny Oldwage (right) on the second day of his murder trial in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria on 4 March 2014. Picture: Pool.

Charl Johnson, who is Michelle Burger's husband, was called to the stand shortly after lunch on day two of the case.

Burger, a university lecturer, was the state's first witness.

Johnson and Burger live in Silver Stream Estate, which is adjacent to the Silver Woods Country Estate, where the shooting took place.

The couple has a direct line of sight to Pistorius's multimillion rand property.

Speaking in court on Tuesday, Johnson said both he and his wife were under the impression that people were being attacked when they heard screams coming from Pistorius's house in the early hours of the morning.

He described the screams as "distressful" and said he heard five or six gunshots.

In earlier testimony from Burger, Judge Thokozile Masipa heard that four shots went off.

Johnson, who was barely audible, was asked by the judge and Prosecutor Gerrie Nel to speak up.

Earlier in the case, defence advocate Barry Roux claimed Johnson and Burger's statements were too similar and that one was used as a "template" for the other.

Advocate Barry Roux arrives at the Pretoria High Court on 4 March 2014 ahead of the second day of the Oscar Pistorius murder trial. Picture: Sebabatso Mosamo/EWN.

Burger denied the claim.

She maintained she did not see her husband's statement.

BURGER BREAKS DOWN

Burger was heavily cross-examined by Roux earlier in the day.

She eventually broke down and cried as she was re-examined by Nel, who asked about her emotional state while her statement was being taken shortly after the deadly shooting.

Masipa then excused Burger and thanked her for her assistance.

During the last part of his cross-examination, Roux tried to show that Burger shouldn't be so sure she heard gunshots as opposed to a cricket bat bashing on a door.

Roux told Burger that she was not willing to even make an obvious concession.

Nel objected and accused Roux of badgering the witness.

Masipa then suggested Roux had exhausted this line of questioning.

Roux asked Burger about her previous experience with shooting.

She claimed she had heard gunshots at a shooting range, which is why she knew she heard gunshots on the day in question.

But Roux argued she was not that familiar with guns and at the range, she admitted she had used ear protection.

Roux then ended his cross-examination before allowing Nel the floor for re-examination.